Anonymous tip mushrooms into alleged drug find

Police on Thursday arrested a 54-year-old man who was allegedly growing hallucinogenic mushrooms inside a north Glendale apartment that they described as riddled with cockroaches and rotting food.

Glendale narcotics detectives obtained a warrant to search the apartment of Albert Ojanian-Saki in the 1100 block of San Rafael Avenue after receiving an anonymous tip that he was possibly involved in methamphetamine sales, according to Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.

But once detectives stepped inside the apartment at about 7:15 a.m., they discovered more than they imagined — “extreme disarray,” she said.

They found mushrooms in four large buckets located in several rooms throughout the apartment, Lightfoot said.

It appears the mushrooms had been moved from small containers to the larger buckets after they grew.

But detectives also noticed clothing strewn on the floor, rotten food in every room and bugs and cockroaches on the ceilings and walls, she added.

Detectives continued to search the apartment, where they reportedly found marijuana, methamphetamine, 9-millimeter ammunition, plastic baggies, a scale and more than $26,000 in cash.

Among the drugs and cash found inside the home, detectives also uncovered power tools and eight highly valuable bicycles.

Since similar items have been reported stolen throughout the city, burglary detectives also responded to investigate, Lightfoot said.

The unkempt conditions and the drug discovery prompted detectives to report the incident to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, which will follow up on a 17-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl with special needs who also live in the apartment, she said.

Ojanian-Saki was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine.

But Lightfoot said detectives will present the case to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office to determine if child endangerment charges will be filed against him and the children’s mother.

Detectives also notified the city’s Neighborhood Services Department to inspect the property.

A city inspector will be issuing a citation for unsanitary conditions, which gives the residents 72 hours to clean up the apartment, according to Tim Foy, Glendale’s deputy director of planning and neighborhood services.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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